Additional OPW staff needed to deal with flooding crisis

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Additional OPW staff will be needed to deal with the aftermath of flooding across county Galway, according to Paul Connaughton TD, who this week raised the issue with Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Minister with responsibility for the OPW, Simon Harris TD.

‘Last weekend’s floods devastated the livelihoods of many people across county Galway, from Ballinamore Bridge to Ballinasloe and Craughwell. I know that a decision from An Bord Pleanála is awaited in relation to long-overdue works on the Dunkellin River, but it is crucial that once that decision is available, the OPW will be in a position to get staff working on the ground throughout county Galway as early as possible in the new year. Projects such as the Dunkellin Rover cannot be delayed any further.

‘Since being elected I have highlighted this issue on numerous occasions with Minister Simon Harris and his predecessor Brian Hayes. Both have visited the areas across county Galway worst affected by flooding and seen at first hand the devastation caused.

‘I would also like to compliment the staff of the emergency services on their work over the weekend. I know that in many cases their work paid off and saved homes and livelihoods and in other cases their work allowed people valuable time to move and store family mementoes and valuable electrical equipment. Many emergency staff members worked tirelessly over the weekend, to clear roads after stormy conditions on Friday and Saturday and to alleviate flooding in the days since then and they deserve to be thanked for their efforts in the most difficult of conditions.’